Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank Plc, Tuesday commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Oilserv, contractors to the $2.8bn Ajaokuta – Kaduna – Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline Project, which was flagged off Tuesday, June 30, 2020, with the ground breaking ceremony at Ajaokuta, Kogi State.
Designed in line with the key objectives of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Gas Masterplan, the AKK Project was borne out of the need to not only boost domestic gas utilization in the country, but reduce the infrastructure deficit plaguing the oil and gas Industry.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, President Muhammadu Buhari said the landmark AKK Gas project was being developed at a critical time in Nigeria’s history, particularly now when it has become imperative to improve the country’s infrastructure asset.
The AKK Gas Project, he said will provide gas for generation of power, facilitate the development of new industries and revive moribund industries along transit towns in Kogi State, Abuja (FCT), Niger State, Kaduna State and Kano State.
“When operational, the cascading effect and impact of the project will be immeasurable. It has significant job creation potential both direct and indirect, while fostering the development and utilization of local skills and manpower, technology transfer and promotion of local manufacturing” the President said.
The Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, commended the Nigerian President for the government’s push and support to jumpstart the project which he said, is critical to national development.
Mr Kyari explained that the AKK Gas project, when completed, will create an enabling environment for development, adding that NNPC has the capacity to deliver and create opportunities for the growth of other industries in Nigeria.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Fidelity Bank CEO, Nnamdi Okonkwo, stated that that the bank was delighted to be associated with the laudable initiative to improve gas supply, enhance power generation and boost the productive capacity of the Nigerian Industrial sector.
Mr Okonkwo who was represented by the Executive Director, North, Hassan Imam, pledged Fidelity Bank’s commitment to Oil Serv, the contractor of the AKK Gas project.
“As partner/banker to Oilserv, we are happy to meet all the financial obligations and other funding needs, required to successfully execute this project” he added.
Leveraging on its know-how and capacity, Fidelity Bank Energy Desk provides support to businesses in the oil and gas value chain.
The bank’s support for local content development, according to Fidelity Bank’s Executive Director, Corporate Bank, Obaro Odeghe “underscores our support for the key infrastructure initiatives of the Federal Government, and our customer, Oilserv Limited; a market leader in the oil servicing space”.
Oilserv Limited is an indigenous Engineering Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) company. The Company provides EPCI services to Power and Oil & Gas Companies /Industries and have executed several landmark pipeline and gas infrastructure projects including OB-3 Pipeline Contract, OB-OB Project and currently the AKK pipeline project.
Chairman & CEO, Oilserv Limited, Emeka Okwuosa, assured Nigerians that the AKK Gas Project would be delivered within the contractual terms, adding that the company has the capacity to handle such a monumental project.
“We are ready for it and what we are doing today is the official flag off which is ground breaking. We are already working and laying the lines,” he stated.
According to him the company had already employed over 600 employees, stating that this will be increased to 1000 or 15000 in due course.